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Manufacturing new career paths: Gene Haas bootcamps offer hands-on training for youth

January 25, 2023

Starting next month, Winnipeg youths with an interest in 3D printing, manufacturing and robotics will have the opportunity to hone their skills and learn about new technologies through one-day bootcamps at RRC Polytech.

The Gene Haas Manufacturing Bootcamps are open to students in Grades 7 and 8 (ages 12 to 14), along with their parents or guardians. Participants will learn how to create things using industry-standard equipment and technology, while exploring some of the many career options in Manitoba’s rapidly growing manufacturing sector.

“RRC Polytech is excited to partner with the Gene Haas Foundation on these camps because we know there is incredible potential for young Winnipeggers in the manufacturing field,” says Mark Blackner, Chair of Electrical, Mechanical and Manufacturing at RRC Polytech.

“It was important for us to include parents and guardians in these camps because often trades and technologies are seen as a dead-end job or back-up plan, which is not the case. Careers in trades and technologies allow people to create things every day, are high-paying and help our communities function and grow.”

Bootcamps run once a month, on Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 4p.m. They’ll provide participants with training in:

• 3D printing
• Computer aided design (CAD)
• Computer numerical control (CNC) machining
• Industrial robotics

Along with the Gene Haas Foundation and Thomas Skinner (Western Canada’s Haas Automation representative), the College has partnered with Career Trek and Skills Canada Manitoba to bring these bootcamps to life. Read More →

Eight RRC Polytech programs granted national accreditation

November 29, 2022

Today, RRC Polytech marked the accreditation of eight of its programs by Technology Accreditation Canada (TAC).

The accreditation is the result of a comprehensive audit that includes a tour of each program’s labs and student support services, and interviews with its students, faculty, alumni and graduates’ employers.

The eight programs that received accreditation are: 

·      Electronic Engineering Technology 

·      Electrical Engineering Technology 

·      Instrumentation and Control Engineering Technology

·      Mechanical Engineering Technology

·      Structural Engineering Technology

·      Architectural/Engineering Technology

·      Municipal Engineering Technology

·      Environmental Engineering Technology

“Achieving accreditation for these programs is a real win-win,” says Derek Kochenash, Dean, School of Skilled Trades and Technologies at RRC Polytech. “Not only does accreditation open doors to even more career opportunities for our students, it provides our partners in industry with the essential talent to help their organizations achieve their goals. 

“RRC Polytech is grateful to Technology Accreditation Canada for this acknowledgment. The accreditation reflects the high quality of these eight programs, while enhancing graduates’ credentials as they enter the workforce.”

National program accreditation provides students, industry and RRC Polytech with confirmation their program has met defined standards. 

Accreditation also affords graduates an expedited path to certification through the Certified Technicians & Technologists Association of Manitoba (CTTAM) and provincial certifying bodies across Canada.

“We congratulate each program for its commitment to delivering to students a high quality program that meets the current standards of the engineering technology and applied science profession,” says Stephen Morley, Chair of TAC’s board of directors. 

RRC Polytech celebrates 1,200 graduates at fall convocation

November 8, 2022

Today, at its fall convocation ceremony, RRC Polytech will celebrate more than 1,200 graduates as they enter the workforce prepared to face any challenge head on.

“Tonight’s ceremony is just the start for this resilient group of graduates. Acquiring their skills and credentials in an unprecedented period of constant change has added to their employability — they truly deserve a celebration,” says Dr. Christine Watson, Vice-President Academic at RRC Polytech.

“Our convocation ceremonies represent opportunity and optimism, so we’re thrilled everyone can acknowledge this milestone accomplishment together.”

Many of the individuals graduating today completed a significant portion of their learning in a virtual or hybrid setting, and will celebrate their success along with their friends, family and instructors tonight at the RBC Convention Centre.

Among the honorees at tonight’s ceremony is Michael Stewart, RRC Polytech’s 2022 Lieutenant Governor’s Medal recipient. Stewart graduates with honours from the Applied Accounting Certificate program and inspires everyone around him as a tireless volunteer, support worker and advocate in the deaf-blind community.

“From instructors and interpreters to classmates, I am blown away by the generosity, kindness and top-notch service provided by RRC Polytech,” says Stewart. “My education will open so many doors for me as I work toward becoming a chartered professional accountant and achieving my ultimate goal of changing the stigma associated with the ability of deaf-blind Canadians to work and contribute.” Read More →

Inaugural Inclusion Week celebrates equity, diversity and inclusion at RRC Polytech

October 31, 2022

RRC Polytech is strengthening its commitment to embodying equity, diversity and inclusion (EDI) with the launch of its inaugural Inclusion Week.

From today until Friday, Nov. 4, the College is hosting a series of virtual and in-person events designed to inspire staff and students to live out the values of EDI at work, in class and in their personal lives.

“The principles of EDI are embedded into everything we do at RRC Polytech, and they make up an important pillar of our Strategic Plan,” says Fred Meier, President and CEO. “Rather than just talking about how important these values are, Inclusion Week gives our community the chance to experience these teachings first-hand through a variety of events they can attend throughout their typical work or school week.”

“One of our strengths as an institution is that we care deeply about the people who work and study here. Inclusion Week helps to foster a respectful, equitable atmosphere for our entire community.”

RRC Polytech is committed to addressing the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada’s Calls to Action within its operations and in its work to advance Indigenous education in Manitoba. This commitment is a critical foundation for the College’s work in pursuing EDI within the institution and its partnerships — because those goals cannot be advanced without doing the work of reconciliation.

Inclusion Week builds off the momentum of RRC Polytech’s Truth and Reconciliation Week, held at the end of September, to further provide staff and students with opportunities to engage in the principles of EDI.

Read More →

Journalism students launch website exploring hot-button election issues

October 12, 2022

All 11 mayoral candidates in the upcoming civic election claim their plan will make Winnipeg better, but a quick Google search of the phrase reveals that journalism students in RRC Polytech’s Creative Communications (CreComm) program are already delivering on that promise.

Their project, winnipegbetter.ca, is impacting the city’s race for mayor by giving potential voters exactly what they’ve asked for — a comprehensive website to help them make an informed decision on Oct. 26.

Last spring, CreComm instructor James Turner challenged his small class of journalism majors to offer the community an alternative approach to typical election coverage.

“A frequent complaint from consumers of news is that during elections, the focus is placed on polling and personality conflicts, not the issues that real people are facing,” says Turner.

So, he and his student journalists launched winnipegbetter.ca to cultivate dialogue leading up to decision day and provide a go-to resource on civic issues that voters deem most important.

“Journalism is a public service,” he says. “What this project emphasizes to students is that you work for the readers, the voters and the audience. So instead of letting the politicians tell you what’s important, be the conduit that allows the public to determine what the candidates should be talking about.”

Current second year students spent months gathering people’s viewpoints through in-person interviews, online forms, and social media. They asked a simple direct question: “What do you want candidates to be talking about as they compete for your vote?”

The result is a Citizen’s Agenda of six key issues:

Read More →

College opens Truth and Reconciliation Week with signing of Indigenous Education Protocol

September 26, 2022

Truth and Reconciliation Week is an opportunity to reflect and honour the victims and survivors of Canada’s Residential School system, ensuring they are never forgotten.

To begin Truth and Reconciliation Week, Red River College Polytechnic today joined the members of Colleges and Institutes Canada (CICan) as a signatory of a national Indigenous Education Protocol.

This comprehensive document underscores the importance of structures and approaches required to address Indigenous peoples’ learning needs and to support self-determination and socio-economic development of Indigenous communities.

“We have dedicated ourselves to reconciling a broken trust in our education system and recognize that advancing Indigenous achievement requires organizations to listen, embrace new ways of learning and work together to prompt meaningful change,” says Fred Meier, President and CEO of RRC Polytech.

“By upholding this agreement, RRC Polytech and its CICan partners will continue to create opportunities to integrate Indigenous knowledge and teaching methods into student and faculty supports, to inform our administrative processes, and to build collaborative partnerships that elevate reconciliation.”

Indigenous Education Protocol signatory institutions agree to:

  • Commit to making Indigenous education a priority.
  • Ensure governance structures recognize and respect Indigenous peoples.
  • Implement intellectual and cultural traditions of Indigenous peoples through curriculum and learning approaches relevant to learners and communities.
  • Support students and employees to increase understanding and reciprocity among Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples.
  • Commit to increasing the number of Indigenous employees with ongoing appointments throughout the institution, including Indigenous senior administrators.
  • Establish Indigenous-centred holistic services and learning environments for learner success.
  • Build relationships and be accountable to Indigenous communities in support of self-determination through education, training and applied research.

Read More →

College opens new Elgin Plaza, providing community greenspace for students downtown

September 1, 2022

Students returning to classes at RRC Polytech’s Exchange District Campus will have a new outdoor space to enjoy while studying and connecting with classmates.

Today, Red River College Polytechnic officially opened the Elgin Plaza, nestled between the new Manitou a bi Bii daziigae building and the existing Roblin Centre. The block of Elgin Avenue between Princess and Adelaide Streets was closed to vehicles, with support from the City of Winnipeg, to create a pedestrian plaza.

“We are proud to work with our partners to create a pedestrian connection between buildings, transforming learning spaces and making it feel like a community campus where genuine connections and shared experiences occur,” says RRC Polytech President Fred Meier (shown above, at centre). “Developments like this allow us to build on our partnerships and strengthen our shared vision to enhance the student experience.”

The space was designed by HTFC Planning and Design, and includes outdoor gardens, seating areas, recreational space, removable bollards that allow access for food trucks, a new projector to showcase student work and create community art, and ping pong tables and power outlets to help host outdoor events from students and community members.

When looking up, anyone standing in the Elgin Plaza will have a stunning view of local artist Jackie Traverse’s ceiling installation, which extends from Manitou a bi Bii daziigae’s fourth floor. The Elgin Plaza also features one of the College’s new rainbow walkways, which were unveiled earlier this week.

“The opening of Elgin Plaza is significant for Winnipeg’s downtown,” says Mayor Brian Bowman (shown above, at left). “The City of Winnipeg and RRC Polytech have a longstanding partnership and spaces like this help to bring people downtown and revitalize Winnipeg’s Exchange District. I’m pleased to see another space like this added in our downtown because spending time outdoors and in greenspaces has a positive impact on the well-being of residents in our community.” Read More →

Students welcomed back to campus with week’s worth of activities, events

August 26, 2022

Red River College Polytechnic presents Fall Welcome 2022, a series of events and activities for students and staff to meet, learn and connect as the fall term begins. 

The College is excited to welcome students back to all campuses. Since March 2020, most programs been delivered online due to pandemic restrictions. Moving forward, most of RRC Polytech’s programs will have a blend of in-person and online delivery.

Fall Welcome 2022 will create an exciting and welcoming campus atmosphere, where students can learn about the supports and services available to them, get up-to-date information about safety precautions and guidelines, tour facilities and enjoy entertainment options where they can have fun and connect with each other.

Students will also be able to participate in the RRC Polytech Scavenger Hunt, which runs throughout the week.

Read More →

Girls Exploring Trades and Technology camp returns for the first time since 2019

July 6, 2022

Summer school is about to take on a whole new meaning for dozens of Winnipeg tweens and teens.

RRC Polytech is rolling out its summer camp programming with hands-on day camps for the next generations of skilled trades experts. The camps take place at the College’s Notre Dame Campus over the next few weeks.

After a two-year hiatus, the College’s Girls Exploring Trades and Technology (GETT) camps are back and, quite possibly, better than ever. More than 140 would-be campers applied for 32 coveted spots in the program, which takes place this week and next at the College’s state-of-the-art Skilled Trades and Technology Centre.

Each camp will see 16 campers aged 12 to 14 exploring plumbing, woodworking, cabinetmaking, welding, robotics, transportation trades and — for the first time in its 16-year history — masonry. At the end of the week-long program, each camper will bring home a project of their own making: a steampunk-style desk lamp made of black iron pipe.

GETT camps are completely free of charge, providing a fun way to introduce girls to applied skills and technology skills while encouraging them to consider a variety of career choices, without a financial barrier.

“The GETT camps are a great way to introduce trades and technologies to girls, giving them the opportunity to develop new hobbies or interests that can turn into a career they may not have considered,” says Derek Kochenash, Dean, School of Skilled Trades and Technologies, RRC Polytech.

“The popularity of this year’s camps shows that the stigma of women in trades is on its way out, and it’s more important than ever to continue to provide safe spaces for girls to explore careers that are rewarding, challenging, and creative.”

Starting next week, RRC Polytech is also hosting Technology Exploration Camps for children entering grades six and seven this fall. These camps give middle school students a real taste of various engineering technology-related disciplines, such as civil, electrical and mechanical. During their week-long experience, campers will learn the way things work by creating model bridges, building and programming their own robots, and even manufacturing a working model of a medieval catapult.

While the GETT and Technology Exploration Camps are at full capacity, RRC Polytech offers a variety of additional in-person and online summer camps for kids in Manitoba. Newly added camps include:

  • Jumpstart Digital Art | Ages 14 – 18
  • Quickstart Digital Art | Ages 12 – 18
  • Queer Coded (for 2SLGBTQIA+ teens) | Ages 13 – 18

Visit rrc.ca/youth/camps for more information.

Lights, camera, action: A second chance at convocation

June 22, 2022

Today, after two years of virtual graduation ceremonies, RRC Polytech alumni — along with their classmates, friends, family, loved ones and College staff — are gathering for a second chance at convocation.

Almost 1,000 alumni will don a cap and gown to cross the stage in person during ceremonies at the Centennial Concert Hall.

“We recognize that being surrounded by classmates and loved ones, and crossing the stage is a major milestone to help celebrate students’ hard work and achievements,” says Dr. Christine Watson, Vice-President, Academic and emcee of the alumni graduation ceremonies.

“We wanted to be able to provide this memorable in-person experience to alumni who had virtual convocation ceremonies over the last two years,”

Earlier this spring, after receiving positive survey responses from alumni who graduated between Spring 2020 and Winter 2022, the College announced that special return convocation ceremonies would be held for alumni.

For Tian Tian, who first arrived in Canada in 2020, not only did she have to learn how to navigate a new country and way of life, but also remote classes in a new online learning environment. Despite all the challenges, Tian seamlessly managed a demanding class schedule, found time to give back to the community, and began building a family.

Having started her education journey at the onset of the pandemic, and finished during another wave of the pandemic, she now has the opportunity to attend the in-person convocation ceremony she had anticipated.

“I am grateful to be able to join my instructors and fellow classmates in person — they have been fundamental in helping me build brave relationships here at RRC Polytech and prepare for my future career,” says Tian, who is a 2021 honours grad of the College’s Manufacturing CAD program, and recipient of the Lieutenant Governor’s Award for outstanding achievement.

“Today is also extremely special because my son, Alexis, who became our youngest classmate, will be with my family in the audience while I cross the stage.”

Tian will bring remarks at tonight’s 7:00 p.m. ceremony, which — like those taking place at 10:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. — will be available to livestream at rrc.ca/convocation.

Congratulations to the classes of 2020, 2021 and 2022!